#FreeThemAll: Voices from Inside NWDC

We know that ICE and GEO have no regard for human life. More people have died in ICE custody through May of 2020 than all of 2019. ICE uses harmful chemicals categorized as “pesticides” as response to COVID19, which give people detained nosebleeds, rashes and eye damage. Instead of moving to free them all, ICE and GEO want people sick and dying under their watch. 

But as the conditions inside NWDC continue to worsen, those inside continue to build power and voice their demands.

Join us in highlighting different people who are detained inside the NWDC in Tacoma, WA, Puyallup land. Join us in writing/calling/tweeting for EVERY person who is bravely deciding to go public and share their stories with us, deciding to risk the retaliation inside for fighting for their rights. The time to #ShutDownNWDC and #FreeThemAll is now! The time to #DefundPolICE is now!

Immigration detention is always a public health crisis, detention under Covid-19 is a catastrophe.

Call/email/tweet! Find scripts and contact info here: www.tinyurl.com/FreeThemAllNWDC

#FreeNaomie

Meet Naomie, she’s a 24 year old from Congo being detained inside the NWDC and she demands to be free! “I came here with all of my family. There isn’t anyone left back from my family. I am terrified of going back. I am very afraid of becoming infected with Covid-19. I will for sure die in my country. I am asking for help, anybody who could possibly help me get out of here.” Free Naomie now!
Read Naomie’s letter.
Take Action.
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#FreeRicardo

Meet Ricardo, as of mid June Ricardo Hurtado has had visible irritations all over his body from the disinfectant chemicals being used inside of NWDC. Like many others, he no longer wants to wait for an appeal of his immigration case because he does not want to die inside NWDC during the Covid-19 global health crisis. This isn’t due process. Ricardo has five little children waiting to be reunited with him at home. He worries about them every day.
Watch Ricardo’s video.
Take Action.
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#FreeYohanne

Meet Yohanne. She is from Marysville, WA and has been detained at NWDC for 17 months and counting. Many people in NWDC have to work in order to afford over-priced prison commissary prices for basic items like soap and shampoo even though they get paid only $1 a day for their work. “Right now I have a rash because I work with chemicals here a lot. I’m a bathroom cleaner. On my medical records it shows that I’m allergic to chlorine and I smell that in the chemicals. Myself, I need a job here so I can’t shy away from working with the chemicals.”
Watch Yohanne’s video.
Read Yohanne’s letter.
Take Action.
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#FreeTimoteo

Meet Timoteo. He is a 32 year asylum seeker from Guatemala.
He fled to the US after he was attacked and threatened by members of a gang that killed his brother. Since September, he has been detained at the NWDC in Tacoma, WA, which is run by the private, for-profit corporation GEO Group.
In March, as the pandemic was seeing across the US, Timoteo decided not to appeal his case after witnessing the disturbing lack of healthcare at the detention center. But instead of getting deported, he was instead transferred to an Arizona detention center with a huge Covid-19 outbreak, and then returned back to NWDC.
Nearly four months have passed, and Timoteo is still trapped inside the facility, with no information about how and when he will be able to leave. Timoteo’s wife, Sandra, is waiting for him at home.
Listen to Timoteo’s on his experience in Arizona.
Take Action.
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#FreeNorma

Meet Norma. Norma is an elder inside NWDC and uses a walker and a wheelchair. Already being held in ICE’s facilities that are known for lack of adequate health care, Norma is an older person incarcerated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Norma should be free and able to shelter at home with her family and community. 
“My walker is very loose. I can hardly break, it swerves everywhere. They didn’t want to give me another because they don’t have any.”
Hear from Norma.
Read Norma’s letters here and here.
Take Action.
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#FreeFlorinda

Meet Florinda. She was one of the many people detained inside NWDC who went on hunger strike in April 2020 to demand freedom for all detained during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has 4 kids who are waiting for her. Every day she spends inside NWDC is another day that risks her losing her children. Let’s get Florinda free!
Hear from Florinda.
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#FreeGloria

Meet Gloria. Gloria helps other people detained when they get sick and have no medical attention while she’s very sick herself. Gloria is anemic and she needs nutrients, but NWDC doesn’t provide a nutritious diet. People detained reported this week that portions are getting smaller and they eat mostly beans. People detained say they haven’t had a meal with vegetables or meat in a while. Gloria cleans the health clinic at NWDC for $1 a day. She sweeps the floor of a detention center clinic that can’t and won’t provide her or others detained with the health care they need. Gloria should be released from NWDC immediately. 
Watch Gloria’s video.
Read Gloria’s letter.
Take Action.
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#FreeAlex

Meet Alex. He’s currently detained at the NWDC, where ICE and GEO use harmful chemicals classified as pesticides to sanitize. Alex experiences lung pain and skin irritation from the chemicals but when visiting the NWDC clinic gets told it’s simply muscle pain and brushes him aside. When Alex asks to see his medical records, there isn’t any note of his lung pain. Two people have died in ICE custody in the last week. We know ICE lies and can’t be trusted with people’s lives and health. We trust the people inside the NWDC. There’s only one thing to do. #ShutDownNWDC and #FreeThemAll! 
Watch Alex’s videos: Part 1, Part 2.
Take Action.
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#FreeSantos

Meet Santos who has been detained at NWDC since July of 2019. He is in chronic pain that is not getting medical attention. He has no criminal record. His wife and three kids worry about him so much.
Sign Santos’ petition!!
Hear from Santos’ kids.
Take Action.
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#FreeHelen

Meet Helen Teye from Ghana. She is an elder and revered as a mother figure to many of the women detained inside NWDC. 
Hear from Helen.
Take Action.
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#FreeBelkis

Meet Belkis Marisela Nolasco.
“I hope you can understand our affliction in being locked up here with people who are infected with Covid-19, and without being given the appropriate treatment. We feel like fish without water. I, Belkis, have been sick with a cough and a cold and have only been given congestants and acetaminophen. I have had intense headaches for four months and the only thing they are given me has been antidepressant, which they claim is good for pain.”
Hear from Belkis.
Take Action.
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#FreeDaniel

Meet Daniel. If Daniel can write to Governor Jay Inslee from inside of the detention center than so can you!
“Dear Governor Inslee,
I want to write you in this critical time to let you know that racial injustice is happening in your very back yard here in Tacoma. My name is Daniel Lopez, and I am currently detained at the Northwest ICE Detention Center.”
Hear more from Daniel here and here.
Take Action.
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#FreeGabriela

Meet Gabriela. She needs medical attention and is met with hostility at the NWDC. “The way he was talking to me was very upsetting and intimidating, it made me fearful. I have suffered from domestic violence and it honestly reminded me of how I felt in that situation.”
Hear more from Gabriela.
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#FreeRene

Rene Ruben Ramirez-Alatorre has courageously demanded safer conditions and transparency at the detention center amidst the COVID-19 crisis, but is being retaliated against by ICE. He has been detained for over a year at the NWDC and has been sick for over nine months, at times needing to be hospitalized. He’s currently being considered for release so keep those calls going!
Take Action.
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#FreeJulio

Meet Julio Enrique Benedicto. He is an elder and has U.S. Citizenship status since 1994. In 2016 he was picked up by ICE and has been detained ever since. This is UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT! 
Take Action.
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#FreeFrancisco

Meet Francisco. Francisco has diabetes, asthma, and valley fever. He was quarantined for two days before being released into the general population. Guards told him he was fine, but he was not told whether or not he had COVID. NWDC has stopped giving out masks and the staff do not have capacity to provide adequate medical care to Francisco or to anyone else. 
“When we go to medical the only things, they’re really giving out is just like ibuprofen and Tylenol. For most things that we go in to be seen for they’re not really . . . giving us more medication than that. I mean there is a lot of people being sick but they’re afraid of going . . . they don’t get the proper treatment.”
Hear more from Francisco.
Take Action.
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#FreeBahar

Meet Bahar. Bahar has been detained inside of the NWDC for four months. She misses her family and cries every day. 
“The first time I am coming here I was engaged in Afghanistan. I had a visa. With visa I am coming in here so it’s three days left until my visa will be expired . . . everyday I am crying. I am missing my family. My father’s in the army he is not a tourist I am not a tourist.”
Hear more from Bahar here and here.
Take Action.
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#FreeJose

Meet Jose de Jesus Arteaga Flores. Jose’s sister shares, “ I would like to say that my brother’s children are suffering from the absence of their father and my brother is also suffering from the absence of his children and suffering from a serious illness where he does not have sufficient medical attention.” Jose deserves to be reunited with his kids.
Take Action.
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#FreeJCL

Meet JCL. JCL was detained when ICE officers falsely informed him that his wife had been detained. He agreed to enter the facility to see his wife and instead he was detained. JCL’s wife and two young children are struggling to find a place to stay while JCL is detained and unable to help. JCL’s 4 month old daughter recently had an operation and JCL was unable to be with his family. 
Take Action.
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#FreeIgor

Meet Igor. Igor has been in the US for over 20 years and he has 3 daughters here. He has been detained in the NWDC for over 5 months. Igor is in need of an xray and proper dental care but the NWDC does not have an xray machine and will only offer to pull his tooth. Igor is afraid of getting COVID-19 because GEO and ICE employees do not wear masks or social distance.
Take Action.
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#FreePooja

Meet Pooja. Pooja is from India and she has been detained in the NWDC for 7 months. Without any support from her community, Pooja left her abusive ex-husband and came to the US. She has been waiting for 5 months for the results of her appeal but has heard nothing from the judge.
“This detention center is not good for me. This place is very stressful. My health is not good in here. In center commissary is too expensive. Food are not good. Phones are not working and video calling is very expensive money wise. In here too much works too. Just only 1 dollar pay. I don’t like this place.”
Take Action.
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#FreeRuben

Meet Ruben Vera Perez. On August 24, 2020, medical staff at the Northwest Detention Center confirmed that Ruben was bleeding internally. Ruben suffered a similar incident last year that quickly progressed to a life-threatening emergency. Ruben is gravely concerned about the lack of urgent attention medical officials are giving his condition. Medical staff at the detention center initially told Ruben that they were seeking permission to transfer him to a facility that can provide him appropriate care. In response to a congressional inquiry, however, ICE officials have since downplayed Ruben’s condition and stated that they have NO current plans to transfer him to another facility. Ruben asserts that he is still bleeding and is now experiencing a weird taste in his mouth–the same taste that he had last year when he was first diagnosed, and which preceded him vomiting blood.
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#FreeTien

Meet Tien Ho. Tien has a 3 year old son that hasn’t seen her since he was two months old. Tien frequently suffers constipation but medical staff at the Northwest Detention Center only give her fiber supplements which don’t resolve the issue. Tien says that the greatest punishment she and other parents have endured is being separated from their children.
Take Action.
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#FreeJulio

Meet Julio Leon.
“Hi, my name is Evelyn Leon Nunez. My dad (Julio) has been detained in the Northwest Detention Center for over a year now. Me and my family have suffered through a lot with the separation of us not being with our dad. Now that the covid-19 is around me and my family fear for this life because he has diabetes and high blood pressure and we’re afraid that one day he can die in there. We all ask for your help and support to free my dad and others that are detained in there and suffering with him and for us to be back home with our families. Thank you and god bless you all.” Julio’s daughter
Take Action.
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Listen directly from Evelyn about her dad.